by Rick Korchak
Owner, Publisher and Editor
December 31, 2013 - Best wishes to all of our visitors, contributors and affiliates for a happy, healthy, joyous and prosperous 2014!
Here we are at December 31st again (and already). I say that every year and each year goes by even quicker than the one before. And each year, I'm just as surprised to find that all of a sudden, it's New Year's Eve. I've learned yet again this year something that may sound trite but is so very true: Make every minute count. Focus on what's truly important. Never forget that our lifetime on this planet is but a blink of the eye!
And here we are, another January, which means another year of webBikeWorld history. January 2014 marks the 14th year that webBikeWorld has been online. Think about that -- 14 years!
The webBikeWorld Motorcycle Product of the Year Awards are another webBikeWorld New Year's Eve tradition. This is a time to recognize our favorite motorcycle products and accessories, chosen from all of the interesting gear we reviewed in the prior year.
As always, the criteria for the webBikeWorld Motorcycle Product of the Year is pretty simple: We choose what we like. These are the products that, for one reason or another, have stood out among their competitors.
The webBikeWorld.com Motorcycle Product of the Year Awards are designed to give recognition to the products which, in our opinion, combine the most unique, interesting and useful features along with good value to make them leaders in their class.
Like the webBikeWorld product reviews, the Product of the Year Awards are completely subjective. There's no science to this; just the illogic of hot-blooded emotion. You may or may not agree with our choices and that's perfectly fine.
Note that the award categories vary from year to year, depending upon the products and our whimsy. Also, there may be more than one winner in each category, again depending upon the number and quality of the products reviewed during the year.
As always, webBikeWorld wouldn't be what it is without the millions of visitors, the evaluators, reviewers and contributors who make the website what it is. The variety of your opinions and our content are what make webBikeWorld.com such a valued resource for millions of visitors from over 200 countries around the world.
The excellent and detailed feedback webBikeWorld visitors provide also helps to enhance each webBikeWorld.com product review and article. My feeling has always been that webBikeWorld visitors provide the best and most insightful feedback that can be found on the web and it is very useful for other riders -- so keep it coming!
Managing and maintaining webBikeWorld takes a lot of cash and I also would like to thank all of our visitors for supporting the site through your purchases at MotorcycleGear.com, RevZilla, British Motorcycle Gear, Twisted Throttle and Amazon.com.
Note that as long as I'm in charge, you will never see an advertisement on the home page, nor will you ever see a popup ad or "interstitial" ad (those nasty ads that hijack your web page) like you do on all those other websites.
I have deliberately kept advertising to a minimum, with a focus on the product reviews, and will keep on doing that as long as you continue to use the webBikeWorld affiliate links to buy products, which generates the only revenue we have to keep the site running.
So please continue to click through any of the webBikeWorld Affiliate links you'll find on the website to purchase all of your gear from these outstanding retailers. And don't forget: by doing so, you'll get the best deals and the best customer service in the business.
Your support also means that webBikeWorld can continue to provide funding to our favorite charities. A portion of the proceeds goes to charity each month and we're very proud of this program and thankful for our ability to help others. I'm very pleased to announce that since 2003 we have donated over $48,000.00 to charities around the world!
From all of us to all of you, best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2014!
Owner, Editor and Publisher
2013 Motorcycle Helmet
of the Year: Shoei GT Air
The Shoei GT Air (review) was reviewed way back in March of this year but nothing since has come close to beating it.
The GT Air has it all: good looks, very low noise levels and the most effective ventilation system we've ever experienced in a full-face helmet.
It also has outstanding outward visibility with a huge, specially designed Pinlock anti-fog insert and the GT Air even has a very effective unique internal sun visor that rotates up into a special cavity in the helmet shell.
The optical quality and clarity of the face shield and sun visor are also the best you'll find in any motorcycle helmet.
Back it all up with Shoei quality, a comfortable liner and outstanding aerodynamics that make the helmet feel like it's slicing through the air.
If you're a "Neutral" to "Long Oval" type head, there's nothing that beats the Shoei GT Air, the webBikeWorld 2013 Motorcycle Helmet of the Year!
2013 Motorcycle Helmet
Value of the Year: HJC CL-17
Call it what you want -- the "Motorcycle Helmet Value of the Year" or the "Best Motorcycle Helmet Under $250.00" or simply the best darn helmet bargain you'll find at any price.
No matter how you slice it, the HJC CL-17 (review) is too good to pass up for an award.
The HJC CL-series is one of the most popular motorcycle helmet types in the world, and no wonder. It has excellent build quality with features that work and a bargain-basement list price. That's the winning formula!
HJC tinkers with the CL series helmets on a regular basis and the HJC CL-16 (review) was already a super bargain but the CL-17 updates it with modern styling, excellent ventilation and all-day round-head comfort.
The CL-17 is also certified to the Snell M2010 standard and the best part is that you can buy one for around $126.00.
There simply isn't a better helmet at this price...or maybe any price. That's why the HJC CL-17 is the webBikeWorld 2013 Motorcycle Helmet Value of the Year!
of the Year: Pilot Trans-Urban Jacket
Pilot has been supplying motorcycle clothing to familiar brand names like Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.
That flying-under-the-radar approached has all been changed, however, and now you can buy motorcycle clothing with the Pilot brand name.
And if the company's first product is any indication, we're in for a treat.
The Trans-Urban jacket has a surprising number of very usable features with rugged and excellent build quality, all for a very low asking price of $225.00.
You can even buy the optional chest and back protectors for the jacket, rare at any price.
That's why the new Pilot Trans-Urban jacket gets the 2013 webBikeWorld Motorcycle Clothing Product of the Year Award!
of the Year: Cardo Scala Rider Q1 and Q3
Bluetooth intercom systems continue to improve and 2013 was a banner year, with updates and new products being announced at a fast and furious pace.
The fierce competition has resulted in features we could only dream of a year ago, including music sharing and website-based intercom setup and management.
This meant yet another close call this year but Cardo Systems did it once again with the new Cardo Scala Rider Q1 and Q3 (review).
As we stated in the review, the Cardo Scala Rider Q1 Teamset and Q3 Multiset systems are absolutely the most complete and comprehensively packaged systems on the market today.
Cardo went all-out and came up with a slimmed-down, up-scaled, easy-to-use and price-competitive Bluetooth intercom system: the Cardo Scala Rider Q1 and Q3, the webBikeWorld 2013 Motorcycle Intercom of the Year!
Protective Product of the Year: Racer R-Safe Gloves
Safety and protection have always been primary webBikeWorld concerns and we've been promoting safe gear, helmets and clothing since the very beginning of the website 14 years ago.
The Racer R-Safe Gloves (review) are both the webBikeWorld 2013 Motorcycle Protective Product of the Year and the webBikeWorld 2013 Motorcycle Gloves of the Year.
They're among the most protective motorcycle gloves but they're also surprisingly comfortable for a race glove.
The real magic is in the design, with redundant protective features that provide a greater feeling of security.
It's all here, including kangaroo leather, a huge swatch of SuperFabric and the complement of Knox SPS scaphoid race protection sliders.
The price is reasonable for this level of protection and you can wear the R-Safe gloves on the street or track. That's why the Racer R-Safe gloves get the nod for the webBikeWorld 2013 Motorcycle Protective Product of the Year award!
Motorcycle Accessory of the Year:
Kaoko Throttle Control
Just don't call it a "cruise control"! The Kaoko Throttle Control (review) is a beautifully made device that looks like an OE part.
It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of it, but once you do, it's as simple as rolling on and off the throttle.
If you're super-slabbing it, you need one of these!
Super easy to install and virtually foolproof, the Kaoko Throttle Control is the next best thing to the full-on, automatic cruise control system you don't have and couldn't get even if you wanted to.
It's a real pleasure to find such a simple device that's so ingeniously designed and that makes life in the fast lane that much easier.
That's why the Kaoko Throttle Control gets the webBikeWorld 2013 Motorcycle Accessory of the Year award!
Best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2014!